With the merger of the American Unitarian Association (AUA) and the Universalist Church of America (UCA) in 1961, Midwest Unitarian groups and Western Universalist groups formed the Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference (MUUC) and the Midwest Unitarian Universalist Foundation (MUUF).
The purpose of MUUC is to further the interests of Unitarian Universalists and their institutions in the mid-continental states and provinces, to promote, foster and encourage the interests of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), to support those institutions to spread the message of Unitarian Universalism, and to distribute the surplus income generated by funds in trust by MUUF, a subsidiary corporation.
The purpose of MUUF is to hold those funds received from the AUA and UCA in trust, to safeguard and administer the funds, and to invest the funds and securities.
The funds came from two sources: bequests from individuals and assets of churches that had closed. Most donations were not restricted and were placed in the general fund and the income from those funds is currently distributed to Mt. Desert District and MidAmerica Region (former Prairie Star District, Heartland District and Central MidWest District). Income from restricted funds is used for the purpose intended by the donor.
There are currently three restricted funds. The Ryder Fund was created by the will of William Henry Ryder for the “support and relief of superannuated Universalist Clergymen and for needy and destitute widows of Universalist Clergymen.” The Iva Laughlin Fund is used for elderly Unitarian Universalist lay people. The Colchester Fund is used for scholarships for Unitarian Universalist theological students at Meadville Lombard Theological School.
The Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference is led by a seven-member Board of Trustees representing the Mid-America Region (6) and the Mountain Desert District (1). Sub-committees of the Board evaluate applications to various funds on a continuing basis throughout the year, based on the funds available annually.
The Board works with the MidAmerica Region and Unitarian Universalist ministers to publicize the work of the funds, to identify needs, and to solicit applications to address those needs.